2020 | A blast from the Past Reminds me to 'dig down'.

Last night I started a new thing. The kids were reminding me that they still hadn't mailed our Easter cards...yes I know...we are terrible. So I told them that we would tackle that and some other much needed letter writing and correspondences tomorrow (Monday). Since the kid's virtual learning is a 4 day week with Monday's an 'enrichment learning day,' I declared Monday's are now our memoir days! I then had to explain what exactly a memoir was...So here we are, and this is my first 'Monday Memoir'.

I first opened for business nearly a decade ago in 2011 - just after my first born turned 6 months old. My husband was currently half way through a deployment in Afghanistan and my hands needed to stay busy during a time of uncertainty. I had several friends who jumped at the opportunity to support me during those first few months but I often found other subject matter to keep my hands and eyes doing the work they so desperately craved. I am not one to sit still. I have to be constantly doing something. Perhaps you'd call me a busy body, or a little bit stir crazy, but imagine your husband, and father of your 6 month old, out on the front lines and you haven't heard from him in 29 days...you'd start to either completely lose your mind or you would find something to help you push forward, right? So that's exactly what happened. I left my full time design/marketing job and ran forward into a career that would bring me more freedom and challenges than I could have imagined. It was instantly bliss. As an amateur photographer since my teenage years, it was a dream to actually be paid for the photographs I took and spent countless hours processing. There were times, however, just like in any start up, where business slowed down and allowed me time to solely focus once again on my son, dog, and household. This time was filled with memories. Living in Southern California, I often found myself with my son in a backpack or carrier, and taking mini sessions of our growing succulent garden, and surrounding landscapes. While the vegetation didn't pay very well, the feeling of practicing my trade was enough to pacify my eager spirit. Interestingly enough, I find myself in such a paralleling time today. This time, my third child is a year old and doesn't leave my side. My husband is on the front lines once again pushing with everything to keep the company he works for moving in a forward motion in this economy and complicated season. Uncertainty surrounds us and there is a lot of negativity to be found. There I am, juggling a baby on the hip, and helping two grade school kids navigate virtual learning. Yes, I absolutely agree that the art of photography is 'non-essential' in these times of quarantine and social distancing. However, what is so important and perhaps still essential, is making the time to record and document this moment in history. This is the exact purpose behind the photos I so passionately take. I records those organic feelings and emotions. I think we all can agree, we have very unique emotions running wild right now. These crazy circumstances are arguably setting the stage for some of the most genuine feelings of hope, gratitude, and family moments. I know in our household there are so many daily struggles and new challenges we haven't quite faced in this exact way before; and yet, there we've experienced the most treasured quality times, the most hands on parenting and teaching, the most battles fought and reconciled, and the love we have learn to give in a new and deeper way. Yes I would have loved for this Covid thing to have never existed. It has felt like a bad dream many times over again. However, just like the war we had to survive together as a family, this pandemic will one day end, and we will find ourselves on the other side stronger, closer, and so very thankful. So yes, once again, I found some much needed vegetation begging of my photography. This time, it is the starts of my vegetable garden - mostly romaine, spring mix, and red cabbage; and yes, I just had to include some baby suculants as well. As these sprouts grow, their roots get bigger. They will need transferred over to larger containers and eventually need planted in the earth. This is us. While we were first given the unfortunate news, it felt like we would fail and fall over. Perhaps being injured by every wave of wind and fearing the lack of nourishment and strength. Then we stood up tall, looking toward the light, remembering our God of hope lives in us, through even the worst of times. Our roots dug in deeper and grew thicker as we soaked up His promises. Enjoy this time together and find your own unique way to record this moment in history. If we push into the God of miracles, He will make us stronger as a family and community. I truly believe this is creating a much needed awakening in the church and producing a boldness in believers. There is a searching for hope, and for those truly looking, will find the protection from this world and provisions they are looking for under His wings. They will also find the salvation in His son, and freedom from the earthly pain. Even better, the war has already been won, and He has been victorious. Find time in His holy soil, dig down your roots in His word, and soak up His goodness in His truth. Let's grow together through this season. The investment will be larger than a paycheck, and will cash out far beyond your expected earnings.